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Chewy Homemade Granola Bar Recipe

Chewy Homemade Granola Bar Recipe

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

A good granola bar recipe is flexible. This is a good homemade granola bar recipe. There are a few variable elements to a proper granola bar, and they’re all here. As long as each element is present in its required relative amounts, you can easily make it your own, to suit your family’s tastes.

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

Those elements are:

  • Oats (certified gluten free oats, assuming you’re gluten free): the base.
  • Nuts/seeds/dried fruit/dried coconut/chocolate  chips: for texture, taste and appearance purposes (really). You really can use any combination. I’ve listed my favorite combo below.
  • Sugars: 100% necessary, as they not only provide sweetness, but they hold the bars together.
  • Fat: A fat that is soft-solid at room temperature, like butter or virgin coconut oil works best.
  • Egg: for baked, chewy bars like these, the egg is a binder and a texture-enhancer. I bet a “chia egg” would work well here in its place, if necessary.

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

The result is my favorite homemade granola bar recipe. The combination of partially processed rolled oats and oat flour creates just the right texture and helps the bars hold together while maintaining their chewiness.

The delicate balance of mini chocolate chips (not too many!) and dried fruit keeps things interesting. And a mix of honey, maple syrup and molasses, plus brown sugar, provides just the right sweetness without becoming cloying. And all of that moisture keeps them chewy even once you’ve browned them nicely in a moderate 325°F oven.

I almost always double the recipe, and bake them in two separate square pans to ensure proper browning. You can also make a double recipe in a 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan. Try baking the bars for about 35 minutes, and then turning down the oven to 300°F and continuing to bake until the center is lightly browned and set. Before removing the bars from the pan, cool on the counter for 20 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator.

P.S. In a hurry? Try my no-bake granola bar recipe!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 bars


1 3/4 cups (175g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats, processed by about half in a food processor

1 cup (120g) certified gluten free oat flour

3/4 cup (164g) packed light brown sugar (or granulated coconut palm sugar)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/3 cups (160g) raw pecans, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped

1 cup (about 80g) coconut chips

8 ounces mini chocolate chips, dried raisins and/or dried cranberries or other small dried fruit

8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

6 tablespoons (126 g) combination of honey, pure maple syrup and/or molasses (I like to use 2 tablespoons of each)

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, and then line it with unbleached parchment paper that overhangs 2 opposite sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the chopped nuts, coconut chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit, and mix to combine. In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the melted butter or coconut oil, honey/maple syrup/molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer the pan to the freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the bars out of the pan by the overhung parchment paper. Peel back the paper, and slice into 12 rectangular bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for longer.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Ingredients simplified, all photographs new, method unchanged. 

  • Judy

    Can the nuts be left out? Dd is allergic.

    • Hi, Judy,
      If you are going to leave out the nuts, you’ll need something else to stand in for the bulk that they lend – and the texture. You can’t just leave them out, I’m afraid. Maybe more dried fruit? You’ll have to experiment!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tammy

    I cannot get GF oats in Panama, yet I know GF boy would love these – any suggestions for an oat replacement?

    • Hi, Tammy,
      What a shame! I really rely upon certified GF oats for so many things at home. I can’t imagine granola without oats, though, I’m afraid. It’s really an integral part of it. I’ll be sure to post some lunchbox recipes without oats in the coming weeks. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sally

    These look wonderful, I would be delighted to discover where you purchase your dried fruit, gf. It seems to be a challenge for me to find dried fruit not processed in a facility with wheat.
    Looking forward to trying this one, and maple granola.
    On the hunt for dried fruit.
    THank you again.

    • Hi, Sally,
      Nuts.com has certified gluten-free dried blueberries (among some other dried fruits). I love that maple almond granola. I hope you do too!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Oh, this looks really good. I’m going to share this recipe with a friend, too. She’s got school-aged children and they would love this. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  • Kristi

    This look great. I need more ideas for school lunches. Thanks!

    • Be on the lookout for more lunchbox ideas in the next couple weeks, my friend!
      xoxo Nik

  • Renee

    Any ideas on an oat flour replacement? A lot of celiacs are sensitive to oats as well, my husband included.

    • Hi, Renee,
      I’m afraid that, although you might be able to find a replacement for the oat flour, the oats themselves are integral to granola. Sorry about that!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Christy L

    I can’t WAIT to try these! I have a thing for oats right now and my little one seems to tolerate oats, too. I think he’ll love them! Thanks for sharing.

  • Stacey

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  • Chris

    I may have to be the Guinea Pig on this one…..and try it with quinoa flakes and sub the oat flour with…brown rice flour? Maybe sorghum? I don’t know…..my brain is definitely in “simmer” mode though. I can’t imagine not being able to have oats…..but, since I like quinoa and BOUGHT flakes so I could experiment, I’m thinking this might be just the place to start! I wonder how leaving out the nuts and replacing with sunflower seeds and Chia seeds, etc., would work, too….. I also have this thing for dried cranberries with orange flavor….. I need more hours in a day…..

    • Renee

      Oh! Let me know how that turns out! Celiac husband and son could eat those!

  • Just made these this morning and they turned out fantastic! I subbed pumpkin seeds for pecans (because that’s what I had leftover from the vegan bars, also so good!) and used cranberries over blueberries, and the result is fab. Like the chocolate vegan bars, I’m keeping these babies in the freezer because mine seem to stay together best when nice and cold. I love having these around for a healthy pick me up treat. I’m on the go a lot with my 2 kids and I often forget to pack myself a snack in the midst of taking care of all their food needs, so this is a great treat for me. Maybe I’ll share them with my daughter for her school lunch, if there are any left!

  • ErinK

    Received your book in the mail today!! Can’t wait to read it and try some of the recipes. Thanks for all your awesome recipes and great info!!

  • Julie

    after scouring the web for a gluten-free bar, this one is the winner! going to try it our on my 18 month old and 3 year old this weekend. our 3 year old has apraxia/dyspraxia and we are trying GF diet to see if it helps. being new to this diet, there is a lot to learn! thanks, nicole you have a really nice site and I bought your book.

    • Hi, Julie,
      There is a lot to learn, but you’re off to a good start! Thanks so much for your support in buying a copy of my book. I bet your kids are going to love these granola bars!
      xoxo Nicole

  • I’m so happy to see this republished, Nicole, because I was searching for a good granola bar recipe now that school has started and so has the lunch box packing. These look amazing! I love the idea of adding pumpkin seeds.

  • Mare Masterson

    Just thought I would pop in and let you know we had a healthy recipe swap at work today. I, of course, shared your cauliflower tortillas!

  • Patricia Miller

    I had just been thinking that I wanted to try to make my own chewy granola bars. Thank you for posting this recipe at this time.

  • Elsita Romo

    Do you have any recipe for crispy granola? I don’t like chewy ;(

    • Sure do, Elsita. Just use the search bar and put in “crunchy granola bars.” It’ll be the first result!

  • Rebecca S.

    My life goal (I exaggerate) is to figure out how to make granola clusters…so that the oats and nuts and cranberries actually STICK together and don’t crumble at first touch. I have heard egg white works, but I tried that and it made the granola soggy…do I add more? Do I not stir ever? How would the bottom oats and nuts get to be brown if I don’t stir!! It stresses me out to waste ingredients on different trials. Any ideas? You are so talented at this stuff Nicole, and so detailed in your instructions… I would love to see if you can help me figure this out!!

    • Wilma Murphy

      I just made some today. I used dates and raisins, covered them in boiling water and left it for an hour. Then I put it in my thermomix and grind it to a pulp, add the granola and seeds and mixed it again until it sticks together, I also add melted coconut oil and butter to the mix. I did not weigh or measure anything, just throw it together and then I rolled it in little balls and covered it with coconut

      • Rebecca S.

        Hmm. Maybe I was confusing. I’m talking about granola. Not granola balls. I’ve made those before. The granola I’m talking about are the clusters that are completely crunchy and they are what you find in boxes of granola cereal. My granola falls apart after cooking it and never seems to stick together at all.

        • Alice Ester

          I make a classic granola recipe, put it on a cookie tray covered with parchment and press it all down. It covers the whole tray and is about 1/2 inch thick. Then I bake it at 250 degrees for one hour and then turn the oven off and leave the tray in the oven for a couple hours until it is cool.

          • Rebecca S.

            And you have several chunks that don’t crumble when slightly touched? And is your granola golden brown? I have a classic granola recipe as well and do the same thing. I really think there’s a technique I’m missing.

          • Alice Ester

            Mine comes out as a whole big chunk of granola and then I break it into big chunk pieces and it does not crumble. Yes, it is golden brown.

          • Rebecca S.

            Thanks! Maybe I need to leave it in the oven slightly longer because it’s not golden brown when I don’t stir.

    • Rebecca, I know exactly what to suggest! Two things: First, I’m not sure what recipe you are using, but it needs to have enough sugar in it or it won’t stick together. I have a favorite recipe right here on the blog (Maple Almond Granola Recipe). Second (and this is important, and is a step included in my recipe), you must leave the granola on the pan to cool before you move it to a container for storage or serving. Then, and only then, do you break it up into chunks. Works every time. 👊🏻

      • Rebecca S.

        Thank you so much! I just tried a new recipe today from allrecipes and I will leave it in the oven until it cools too. Yours sounds so good. I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks for getting back to me. 😊

  • JudyD

    This recipe looks awesome!! Now if only I had the GF oats on hand, would try it right now. Have been craving granola bars, and what better then homemade. Thanks for posting – can’t wait to try it out!!

  • Sally Aim

    Thanks for the recipe; they were GREAT! I used a nut/fruit mixture which I lightly chopped, also some dried mango because I had it. Really delicious, thanks for sharing! Our biggest problem was not eating too much of it before it got to the oven!

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